Premier League clubs will vote today on a proposed voluntary ban on gambling sponsors from the front of the clubs’ shirts. As Daily Mail reports, these sponsorships currently amount to a combined £52 million but face Government legislation contingencies.
Lucrative Sponsorship Deals:
At present, eight clubs from the League have shirt sponsorship deals with wagering companies. According to the source, Everton and Westham’s contracts with wagering sponsors have reached the highest value in the division and amount to £10m per season.
The source expects that the Premier League’s shareholders will approve the ban proposal to have gambling companies advertised as sleeve sponsors instead. Daily Mail continues that the proposal to ban the front-of-shirt gambling sponsors is a maneuver of the League’s shareholders to avoid the consequences of the prospective Government legislation which would completely ban gambling advertising campaigns and exclude gambling companies from the advertising space.
Proposed Ban Enforcement:
The proposal anticipates that the ban would be effective from the beginning of the 2026-27 season to allow three years for clubs to wind up sponsorship agreements with non-wagering entities. The proposed measure does not affect the performance of the currently effective deals between clubs and betting sponsors, as these will expire in 2025. But the betting sponsors pay clubs much more than the non-betting ones.
Therefore opponents reportedly claim that removing gambling companies would reduce the value of the shirt sponsorship contracts. According to them, the clubs outside the top-flight clubs would be particularly affected. Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow reportedly said: ‘The commercial reality is that to teams outside the top six, such sponsors offer clubs twice as much financially as non-gambling companies.’
Ban Would Reduce Contract Value:
For example, Newcastle replaced the front-of-shirt sponsor with the wagering company in 2017 when the betting firm offered a £1 million higher sponsorship deal. The proposed ban would deprive this club of significant revenue and compel it to accept a lower-paying sponsor. Others, like Southampton and Brentford, would have difficulties finding better deals than those currently in place with Sportsbet (worth £8 million) and, respectively, Hollywoodbets (£4 million).
Therefore the outcome of today’s vote on the voluntary ban is still not predictable as Premier League clubs have much more lucrative deals with betting companies than with other sponsors. As wagering sponsors pay sometimes double the non-betting ones, with the total sponsorship value worth £52 million, clubs may be reluctant to vote for the ban. They may instead hope for a change of Government legislation in the next three years to secure the continuation of the current agreements.